Yesterday, I was up late till almost midnight. Switching from channel to another channel, I get hooked with Net23 Channel aired by the Iglesia ni Cristo (Trade Mark as per their registration at SEC). The topic? "Ang Karapatan ng Mga INC na tawaging 'Mga Anak ng Dios' Ayon (daw) sa Bibliya." (The right of the INC members to called 'children of God' according to Bible).
I was late for that program, a quarter maybe so I got to start with John 1:12 as they qouted "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." According to their Minister, believers can have the right to become "sons of God" only when they become beleivers of Jesus. Which of the many false believers they are referring to? Definitely, they're far from the real believers of the real Christ. Poor memory, they forget that in Chapter 1 of John, it deals mainly with the Word (Logos), the true Jesus whom Christians should worship! The Word God who became flesh, God Jesus in the form of flesh.
Trying hardly to prove their assertions having the exclusivity of being "sons of God" they quoted Dueteronomy 32:5-6: and was badly interpreted. Those who disbelieve (as the verse was written) have lost that previledge. In their quotation, they reduce the Bible as merely servant to their evilness, not the Bible serving man's purpose. It has no direct subject on that matter, just to fit their lies so they qouted Deutoronomy.
Trying hard to make their very superficial and small-minded explanation understandable, they quoted John 3:16 as his basis that they are the believers who has the (sole) right to be worthy of being called"children of God." Desperatedly they qouted Romans 8:16: "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Make no confusion with the pronoun "we". It didn't spell out their Trade Mark "Iglesia ni Cristo." The Letter of St. Paul to the Romans was addressed to Christians in ancient Rome and their churches are still standing to this day, bearing witness to Paul's zealous missionary activities! Compared to their newly built Catholic copied Gothic-styled temples.
Just like a boxer who is desperate in winning the fight, the Iglesia ni Cristo's Ministers will find every word that may sound siding with their point. Take for example Colossians 2:6-7 . "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Believe me. They even have the nerve to quote Matthew 16:18 but with twisted interpretation to suite their lies. Here's the whole story in Matthew 16:14b-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his
disciples,"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say
John the Baptist, 10 others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the
prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus
said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood
has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon (you) this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
The Ministers didn't keep focus on this Chapter rather they jumped to another book of the Bible proving that "the Rock" in Matthew 16:18 wasn't Peter but Jesus and quoted furtherActs 4:11 which says "He (Christ) is 'the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.'
No doubt, the Rock in Acts 4:11 is Jesus Christbut let's not forget that in Matthew 16:18, Jesus was talking directly to Simon, whom he called Peter later on. According to Fr. Paul Kaiparambadan in his magazine "Know the Truth" he said: "Jesus spoke Aramaic and nicknames Simon "Kepha" (Cephas) which means "Rock."
Anti-Catholics are too quick to disprove the "Rock" wasn't Peter but Jesus himself. In this particular Biblical verse, Jesus wasn't speaking to himself. That could be rediculous if he would be calling Simon "Cephas" (rock) when he was referring to himself as the Rock. Really that's stupidity! He was speaking to Simon 'YOU are Peter (the Rock)' and that through this Peter he'd build his (Christ's) church. Notice, Jesus was conversing with Simon Peter, not to himself. According to Fr. Paul Kaiparambadan, "the next sentence clarifies this: 'I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'" Isn't that something clearer to understand than to qoute Acts 4:11 to answer Matthew 16:18? What a shame for their Ministers!
"The "true" Church must have a name" as they insist. It's Romans 16:16! There we go again in circles!
According to Romans 16:16, the name is a common noun "iglesia ni Cristo" not "Iglesia ni Cristo" as proper noun. He never said in that verse to name his Church as "Iglesia ni Cristo". Nor he commissioned someone from the Philippines to register his Church subject to human government under its existing trademark laws. That's more ridiculous to think, aren't they? Rather Jesus left us Four Marks of the Church (Further Reading here from EWTN) that we can use as a guide to differentiate false churches like the Iglesia ni Cristo founded by Felix Y. Manalo in the Philippines to the real Church he founded.
The INC Ministers may try and try to confuse nominal Catholics and other further confuse other Christians however their lies will never quench the TRUE CHURCH, the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church which Christ have built upon the rock of Simon Peter whom he promised that the "gates of hell will never prevail against it"; not even the lies of Felix Manalo's Iglesia ni Cristo!
Ms. Miriam Isla - a new convert from the Catholic Church
In between the program, they featured a new convert. Her name is Ms. Miriam Isla, a Medical Doctor, resident of De Castro Locale in Southern Metro Manila.
According to her, she's baptized Catholic (infant baptism in the Trinitarian way). Nothing to do with her being a member of Manalo's cult, she said "miyembro pa nga ako ng Legion of Mary' (I was even a membef or the Legion of Mary).
Uncertain of her faith (as a nominal Catholic), she was drifted afar until she found herself being with Protestants and was baptized there. Still doubtful of their beliefs, she had a dorm mate who happen to be a member of this cult and successfuly convinced her to become its new convert.
What convinced her to join Manalo's cult was their opposition against the teachings of most Christians that Jesus is God. She failed to understand "Cristology" for that reason. She must hav tried to read extensively as a Medical doctor with that kind of keenness in balancing knowledge.
Perhaps, these INC members qouted John 8:40 where He said: "But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God". Yes, he said he's human but he never denied being God in this verse.
In fact, there are more Biblical passages that says he is God. Consider these chapters and verses:
(1)John 1:1-3 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. He made not any thing made that was made... and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."
(2)Matthew 1:23 - "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."
(3)John 8:57-59 - "Then the Jews said to him, 'you are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Jesus said to them: 'Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM'". (see Exodus 3:14-17).
(4)John 8:24 - "That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM".
(5)John 13:19 "You may believe that I AM".
(6) John 5:17-26 - Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God is his father, making himself equal with God. (And Jesus never recanted that fact!)
(7)John 10:28-39 - "The Father and I are one".
(8) John 14:189 - "Whoever have seen me has seen the Father."
(8)Matthew 4:7 - "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." (Because Satan was tempting him in the wilderness.)
(9)Philippians 2:6-11 "Though though he (Jesus) was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 9 to the glory of God the Father."
(10)Revelation 21:6 - "I (am) the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end" says Jesus. (see Isaiah 44:6).
And the list goes on...
Due to her belief that Jesus is not God, she was found accusing those who teaches otherwise that God will punish anyone who adds or takes away from Scripture (Revelation 22:18-19) . Poor soul, she never realized it was the cult of Manalo who added and subtracted the Scripture to suit their lies!
She was baptized in the cult on October 6, 1990 in the Trinitarian way.... hmm... very ironic!
We shouldn't forget that they too accept the fact that the Catholic Church is the true Church Christ founded in Jerusalem"
PASUGO Mayo 1964, p. 15:
Tinatanggap halos ng lahat na sa Dios at kay Cristo ang INK na itinayo ni Cristo sa Jerusalem noong unang siglo. Datapuwat ang INK sa huling araw na ito na lumitaw sa Pilipinas noong 1914 ay hindi nila kinikilalang sa Dios at kay Cristo. Ito ay nagpapanggap lamang na INK ngunit ang totoo raw ay Iglesia ni Manalo. Walang katotohanan ang kanilang palagay na ito sapagkat walang Iglesiang kanya si Kapatid na Manalo."
PASUGO Mayo 1954, p. 9:
"Alin ang tunay na Iglesia? Ang Iglesiang itinayo ni Cristo sa Jerusalem."